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Posts tagged ‘beauty’

17
Jun

Weekly Photo Challenge One Week Late: Friendship

I just realized I used the Macaws for another photo challenge!  Here’s the one I was going to use originally, anyway:  My niece and her friend seeing how their friendship necklace fits together:

The weekly photo challenge from two weeks ago was to post a photo that speaks about friendship.  I chose these two Macaws.  They are big buddies and have such fun together…. Such lovely birds, too.

4
Jun

Weekly Photo Challenge: Today

The weekly photo challenge word is was “today.”

Lately my “today’s” have been sans camera in favor of the computer and work-projects.

I shot these photos on a today that happened last month!

There’s a “today” certainty and strength in nature, especially in the sea…. it flows through every today …. the waves, so much like music…

Anyway, I love a today with ocean in it.

Click on an image to enlarge it.

25
May

weekly photo challenge: Summer

The weekly photo challenge word is “Summer”.

Holding the string, at the other end of this kite are a couple of boys and their Dad.  The kids were thrilled when the kite caught the wind and really took off.  It was a beautiful sight; and seemed the epitome of summer.

(Click to enlarge.)

Photo by Andrea O’Connell

19
May

Weekly Photo Challenge: Hands

The word this week is: Hands. Read more

19
May

Weekly Photo Challenge: Blue

I know, I know…. The “Blue” challenge was last week… suffice it to say, that blue week was a busy one for me – though not at all blue.  On the contrary, it was a lovely week because half of it I spent soaking in the sights and sounds of the blue sea.

I met this woman in blue on the beach.  She was staying in the same hotel I was in.

(I don’t know how to spell her name, but it sounds like Iah.)

She’s from Somalia and was so friendly, with a great smile even though I didn’t capture it fully in this photo, unfortunately.

Anyway, she saw me taking photographs and asked if I’d come across a key she’d lost – her hotel key.  I hadn’t but I offered to help her look for it until I saw how she was looking – picking up the seaweed, shaking it and shuffling the sand that the seaweed had been sitting on.

I’ve seen too many creatures in the seaweed to get too close.  So, I found a stick and helped.

We never found her key, but we chatted a bit.  She asked me to take a picture of her with a handful of seaweed.  I said sure (later I captured more photos of her scooping through the weeds that I was too wimpy to touch).

She asked if she could have copies of the picture and so I gave her my email address to contact me,. but she never has. Maybe she’ll see this post…

A Friend in Blue. Photo by Andrea O’Connell

Man-O-War creature sitting in the seaweed.  They about kill the human unfortunate enough to touch one.  I was stung as a kid – horrendous pain.

Man-Oh-Man-Oh-Man-O-War. Photo by Andrea O’Connell

Here she is using her hands to dig through seaweed with who-knows-what kinds of horrible creatures in it.

Somewhere In There is a Lost Hotel Key. Photo by Andrea O’Connell

And here’s the beautiful blue of the sea in its glory.
I’m blue now….. missing this beach.

So Blue and Inviting! Photo by Andrea O’Connell

15
May

I love the sunrise

Read more »

30
Apr

Weekly Photo Challenge: Together

Last week’s WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge was to post something that says “together.”

Well, I’m a bit late with this – haven’t had my act together!

Here are two colorful Macaws who are having such fun together.  These kids are hilarious when they’re together!  They seem to love each other, but they fight like cats and dogs, too!

Here are two lovely butterflies doing what butterflies do when they’re together.

1
Mar

the path of happiness is measured by human kindness

So the Academy Awards are decided.  I enjoyed the show and agree with the outcomes.  I don’t care about the fashion or the best or worst dressed – everyone was beautiful as far as I’m concerned.

But, I’m so sorry that a wonderful, wonderful film was not on the award list. The wonderful movie, Happy, (thehappymovie.com), may not be Academy Award material, but it’s material that says a great deal about the meaning of life.

Happy is a documentary about the meaning and the search for happiness. When I saw the film recently, it reaffirmed for me that the path toward happiness is measured in human kindness.

To be happy, to find happiness is what we all want as human beings.  The filmmakers – psychologists and other professionals, tell us that the pursuit of happiness requires us to live a life in which performing acts of kindness is so ingrained in us it comes naturally and happens often.

When artists create, or writers write, they enter what’s best described as “the zone.”  That zone is where happiness happens and is measurable.

Depression, as we know, is an illness that is talked about, and talked about, and talked about. Depression is measured, diagnosed and medicated.  Acts of human kindness result in elevating the brain chemicals and systems that produce “happy endorphins and serotonin messages.”  When the brain is stressed-out and the happy chemicals in our brains go haywire on us, leaving us low, sad – depressed, medicine can turn it around.

Scientists and psychiatrists measure the level of depression and attempt to cure it with medicine that stimulates happy brain chemicals once again.   Granted, there’s much, much more to mental health – it’s serious and important and I don’t mean to make light of the topic… Instead, I wish to illustrate what the filmmakers of Happy tell us about how to create happiness, and that it can be measured and improved, too.

The main message of this film (for me) revealed a truth that simple human kindness, being grateful, sharing and giving to others, is a critical reality for living a life of happiness.  It’s all wrapped up in empathy, compassion for others; giving of ourselves, serving others, being passionate givers and knowing the return on that investment is our happiness.

In our daily lives we hear and read about hate and ugliness constantly.   Sadly we don’t hear about happy things such as examples of giving and compassion often enough. Rather, we hear and read news reports filled with politicians and criminals spewing hate.  They seem to embrace negativity and hate with a real passion.

Nearly every day this blog is used for people to talk about the Casey Anthony case.  Remember the Casey Anthony trial?  It was about determining who senselessly murdered a beautiful little child – Caylee Anthony.

In this Orlando, Florida case about the death of little Caylee Anthony, it was pretty clear that the toddler’s mother, Casey Anthony, single-highhandedly murdered her own daughter.

But, Casey Anthony was found not guilty by a jury of twelve people.  Granted, that was not a verdict anyone expected, least of all me, the reality of the trial’s outcome is something I’ve completely accepted.

Casey Anthony is not guilty of murder in the eyes of the law.

No one can punish or try her with this crime ever again.  No one…. That includes Federal entities, too, for those who are petitioning the government to try Casey Anthony in Federal Court.  It will not happen. And we need to thank our lucky stars that our justice system gives Casey Anthony that protection.

There are too many cases of truly innocent people punished by our system, and that is wrong, too, clearly.  The facts are these: The application of our state laws and our constitutional rights are often abused by over=zealous lawmakers.  There are prosecutors and law enforcement agencies out there who don’t always care about the innocent, they want to solve cases by any means possible.  It is up to us to VOTE for lawmakers who RESPECT the HUMAN Rights of all people, who apply the LAW evenly to ALL people.  That includes immigrants AND all ARAB human beings, by the way.

There are people in this country who believe in an eye-for-an-eye justice, like in Biblical times.  There are lawmakers who feel this way, too.  In fact, there are people with political power in this country who are so twisted, they’d like to give angry mobs the ability to hold be-headings, or hangings.  There is one GOP lawmaker in North Carolina who’d very much like that to happen. Republican Representative Larry Pittman says, “Let’s round up the (so-called), abortionists, rapists, kidnappers and murders and hang-em high.”  More specifically, Pittman said:

We need to make the death penalty a real deterrent again by actually carrying it out. Every appeal that can be made should have to be made at one time, not in a serial manner,” Pittman wrote in the email. “If murderers (and I would include abortionists, rapists, and kidnappers, as well) are actually executed, it will at least have the deterrent effect upon them. For my money, we should go back to public hangings, which would be more of a deterrent to others, as well.  via North Carolina GOP Lawmaker Calls For Bringing Back Public Hangings, Starting With Abortion Providers.

As America gets dumber it’s reflected in the people WE VOTE into office.

There are Americans who feel just as Representative Pittman does about forms of punishment.  There are people who want Casey Anthony dead. These angry and sick people would like nothing better than to see Casey Anthony face the ultimate punishment, and no doubt they’d like it to happen publicly.

God help them.

God help us all if haters, in the name of religion, seek justice their way.

6
Feb

Weekly Photo Challenge: Ready? Splash!

This week the word for the photo challenge is, ready.

This little guy is deciding whether to jump into the water.

To splash or not to splash?  That is the question!

He stood there a while just looking into space.  Perhaps he was just dreaming, or maybe he didn’t like the water fountain.  Or, maybe he was wondering if he needed a bath.  Do birds decide when they’re ready for a bath?   Maybe!

Photo by Andrea O'Connell

He seemed leery about the water fountain. He wouldn’t jump in until the fountain stopped…

By Andrea O'Connell

Then the water suddenly stopped and he was ready….

Photo by Andrea O'Connell

And then, not two seconds later, big splash!

Photo by Andrea O'Connell

Love those splashes!

Photo by Andrea O'Connell

He is having a grand time, until another bird came and he flew away…. you can see the wake he left!

Photo by Andrea O'Connell

Click on any of the photos to see a larger version.

3
Feb

it rains and pours good things

Although this little fellow looks somewhat miffed at being in the rain, I am happily enjoying the fact that it’s raining (opportunities) for me…

There’s one really good opportunity, with a company and people I really like, there’s still Microsoft, too…..  I’ll have an update soon.

In the meantime, Happy Friday everyone…. I’ll be back with a story soon!

photo by Andrea O'Connell

29
Jan

life’s a beach and other beauty secrets

Update:  Until now, I didn’t know the difference between a Florida Panther and a Bobcat.  As it turns out, what I’d been calling a Bobcat is really the endangered Florida Panther. Apologies to all the big cats for my error…. 🙂

In my earlier post, a Panther bobcat photo had made its way into every one of the pictures I’d exported from LightRoom 4 (LR 4).   Well, I figured out how it happened!  And, it was not at all the fault of an errant or stalking Panther Bobcat, either!  It was silly me.  Now I know how it works…

I’d inadvertently made the photo of the Panther Bobcat my “signature” when I was trying to create a photo-signature.  Each time a new photo was exported, the Panther bobcat photo appeared as a signature.

Here’s a whole new crop of pretties that have been to the beauty parlor of LR 4.  They’ve gotten manicures, pedicures, new hairdo’s and brighter smiles, too.

Click any picture to see a slide show of the enhancements.

Basically, what I’ve learned to do is sharpen, adjust the exposure, saturation, hue.  I’ve learned to change the “clarity” settings by playing with shadows, highlights, blacks and whites.  And so much more.  The hardest part for me was the export and import process, but I’m getting that down now.

It amazes me that up until now I have worked with my images completely untouched when all along I could have livened them up with a trip to an LR 4 Beauty School!

About the photos: 

The beach photos were captured from the balcony of a condo in Pompano Beach, Florida, in July 2010.  The other photos were captured at Flamingo Gardens, in Davie, Florida, where they take care of injured and endangered animals of every kind.  The two Muscovy duck pictures (babies and Mother duck) were captured from my (former) back yard, on the canal.  And, the lizard I captured at Butterfly World, in Coconut Creek, also in Florida.

I love visiting all these places.  I especially enjoy being at the beach and watching the waves roll in and out.  There’s nothing so restful.

29
Jan

Not a bobcat in my clouds and lovin spoonbills – it’s a Florida Panther

I’m enjoying working with my photos and enhancing them with Photoshop Light-Room 4.  I’ve taught myself how to use it via trial and error and experimenting.  However, I have no idea how a picture of a Florida Panther bobcat that I’d been editing ended up being embedded in the bottom left corner of EVERY picture I work on?  All of these pics are in an export file, and every photo I export the Florida Panther bobcat on the left had corner of the of the photo is embedded….but how?  The Florida Panther Bobcat is not in the export file….so how does he end up in my cloud and Roseate Spoonbill pictures?

So, clearly I have not learned nearly enough about editing pictures when panthers bobcats mingle in my clouds and with my lovin spoonbills! Hah!

Anyway, click on the pics to see a bigger version of it while I go and figure out what the heck is going on!

If anyone has an idea how/why this is occurring, I’d sure appreciate it….

26
Jan

colors

The process of transforming / experimenting with colors is great fun.  Here’s a very simple photo that I edited using both Adobe Lightroom 4 and Microsoft PowerPoint.

Here’s a darker version:

Below is the original:

22
Jan

happy monday in advance

Here’s a quick splash of color to brighten up our Monday – in advance!

Monday – tomorrow – 8:00 a.m., I have my second interview at Microsoft – the second of four.

I’m nervous.  So… well.  Here’s all I really want to happen:  When my mouth opens words come out.  In perfect order.  With colors as bright as this Passion Flower.

Passion Flower, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida By Andrea O'Connell

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